Kampala tours & holiday packagesUganda's largest city
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Uganda's capital city has been through hard times but recent economic revitalisation has seen a boom in new construction, from hotels to shopping malls
Kampala, with a population of around 1.5 million, is Uganda's largest city and its capital. The land it stands on today was originally chosen by Kabaka Mutesa I of the Buganda Kingdom as his favourite hunting grounds – an area of hills and wetlands that was an ideal breeding ground for game, especially impala. The city grew as the capital of the Buganda Kingdom and, like Rome was originally built across seven hills.
The name derives from the Luganda expression ‘Kosozi Kampala’, meaning ‘Hill of Antelope’.
In the first decade after independence in 1962, Kampala was widely considered the showpiece of East Africa and its Makerere University the academic heart of the region. Its status deteriorated under Idi Amin and its infrastructure was seriously damaged during the Uganda-Tanzania conflict that ended in 1986.
Since then, however, Kampala has seen the construction of new buildings such as hotels, banks, shopping malls, educational institutions, and hospitals, as well as improvement of war-torn buildings.
Popular Kampala safaris
These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates
See mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys and tree-climbing lions, take a boat cruise and visit Rwanda's genocide memorial
I prefer to avoid Kampala and use the more tranquil Entebbe as an overnight stop, which is also closer to the international airport.
More on Kampala holidays
There isn't much to do in Kampala. The once popular Muammar Gadaffi Mosque isn't visited anymore after the fall of the once-prominent African leader. You could go to see the ancient Kasubi tombs of former kings of Uganda, visit the Uganda Museum or Ndere Cultural Centre or enjoy good food at a local Kampala restaurant.
Kampala's location on Google Maps